Book Review – Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex And Nigerian Taste Buds


I’ll admit to not being especially experimental with my food. Also, I am not one to think about food other than as a means to an end. This could range from satisfying hunger to a companion to my book.

In fact, if I had to live with the author, my eyes would be stuck to the roof of my head from rolling them so much.
I mean, I have never seen anyone use words to talk about any kind of food, much less Nigerian Food in this way.

“That which you eat enters your whole being, finds its way into your soul and touches your dreams. That which you cook is informed by everything about you: your mood, spirit, environment, temperament.”

Yemisi Aribisala definitely knows her stuff, the journeys she has taken in this country for food are fascinating. With the result being an essay collection that is witty, informative, heartbreaking and delicious. At least, I assume it is, I am yet to try out any of her recipes (because I’m lazy) but I have my eyes on her Peppered puff puff recipe.


Book Review - Longthroat Memoirs - Yemisi Aribisala - Naijabookworm - Homeland Reviews
Even the way she writes her recipes…





Book Review - Longthroat Memoirs - Yemisi Aribisala - Naijabookworm - Homeland Reviews
My favourite essay was Nsala with Chicken, a delicacy used to settle marital disputes… and enforce patriarchy.

This essay collection isn’t just about food, it also covers a range of topics from culinary appropriation, Nigerian History, Feminism to the Nigerian Civil War. Anecdotes about friends, family, Obasanjo find their way in there, all somehow relating to food.

I enjoyed the Author’s frank voice, it felt familiar, like how I would sound like if I was a food connoisseur. Her writing is so engaging, it got me from the introduction. I cannot remember the last time I read the introduction for a book that wasn’t fiction.

It was also comforting to read about her experience as an introvert in Nigerian markets. While she has found a way to manage this, I have never been able to enjoy going to the market. Not with all the sounds, smells and haggling required to get anything done.

I would recommend this book to anyone with more than a passing interest in Nigerian Food, for the food adventurers, and the people who think the height of Nigerian cuisine is Jollof Rice. Or if you are just looking for a bellyful of laughs and material for sweet dreams.

Overall Reaction

Book Review - Longthroat Memoirs - Yemisi Aribisala - Homeland Reviews - Naijabookworm

This book made me dream of Ofada rice with snails.

Author: Yemisi Aribisala

Published by: Cassava Republic Press

Date of Publication: 2016

Genre: Non Fiction; Essays, Cookbook

Pages: 357

Source: Gift


Longthroat Memoirs presents a sumptuous menu of essays about Nigerian food, lovingly presented by the nation’s top epicurean writer. As well as a mouth-watering appraisal of the cultural politics and erotics of Nigerian cuisine, it is also a series of love letters to the Nigerian palate. From the cultural history of soup, fish as aphrodisiac and the sensual allure of snails, Longthroat Memoirs explores the complexities, the meticulousness, and the tactile joy of African gastronomy.

Nigeria has a powerful culture of oral storytelling, of myth creation, of imaginative traversing of worlds. Longthroat Memoirs gathers some of these tales and creates an irresistible stew, guaranteed to amuse the inquisitive mouth and nourish the curious stomach.

Longthroat Memoirs introduces Nigerian cuisine to the international dining table of ideas, introducing its textures and tastes to a global audience.

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